Campbell Soup simmers on a down day for stocks

Bucking a down start to trading on the U.S. equity markets, shares of Campbell Soup Co. were higher after reporting adjusted results that exceeded analyst expectations.

In fact, the Camden-based food processor was one of just four companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index whose shares were rising in trading early Friday. Campbell Soup shares were up 21 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $32.07. The S&P 500 was down 1.6 percent following the release of a weak employment report for August.

Sales for the three months ended July 31 were $1.61 billion, up 6 percent from $1.52 billion for the fourth-quarter a year ago. Net income of $100 million, or 31 cents per share, was down 12 percent to $113 million, or 33 cents per share.

Financial results for the quarter were affected by restructuring actions, including exiting the Russian market, announced by Campbell Soup's new CEO Denise Morrison in July.

Sales of its namesake product line were down 9 percent in the quarter. Sales of Campbell's condensed soups were down 10 percent, while sales of its ready-to-serve products, including its Select Harvest brand, were down 5 percent.

Growth came from Campbell Soup's Global Baking and Snacking business unit where sales were $559 million in the fourth quarter, up 17 percent from the previous year. That unit includes its Pepperidge Farm products, such as Goldfish crackers.